8 Easy Steps to Help You Acquire New Nonprofit Sponsorships
Here’s a free gift to help you acquire new sponsors
What do sponsors mean to a nonprofit? Committed relationships, for one thing. And reliable income. Funding that exists outside of the traditional fundraising stream.
Nurturing long-term sponsor relationships is an art and science in and of itself. But before you can nurture those relationships, you have to find them and nail them down.
It may seem like a daunting task, but broken down into a specific process that you can lather, rinse, and repeat as necessary, it becomes less so.
What is a Nonprofit Sponsorship?
There are numerous ways to get funding for your nonprofit organization. And one of those involves nonprofit sponsorships!
These are relationships your nonprofit builds with other organizations or for-business companies.
The company pledges money or resources to your nonprofit in exchange for promotional benefits on your nonprofit’s end.
That might look like:
- Or other marketing materials
Usually, those marketing materials are displayed at nonprofit events, whether they’re in-person or virtual.
Why Would a For-Profit Want to Participate in Nonprofit Sponsorships?
How do the two parties benefit from sponsorships?
For a nonprofit, the sponsorship means more funding for upcoming events or other projects your organization is working on.
And for the for-profit business, a sponsorship means having a better reputation among the public. By partnering with purpose-driven organizations, the business builds a reputation that showcases them as socially or environmentally responsible. And sometimes, that goes further than their product quality or their prices!
But for both to benefit in the long-run, both the nonprofit and the for-profit have to work together so the other sees success.
What Are the Different Types of Nonprofit Sponsorships?
Not all nonprofit sponsorships are solely financially based. There are a few different types of sponsorships your nonprofit can acquire. Here are the main ones:
Financial Nonprofit Sponsorships:
One of the most common types is, in fact, financially-based. Acquiring sponsors is another great way to meet funding needs. Cash or other monetary funds are given to the nonprofit. And the for-profit receives their own benefits.
In-Kind Nonprofit Sponsorships:
Sometimes, for whatever reason, your nonprofit organization needs donations other than monetary contributions.
Depending on who you partner with, your nonprofit can obtain services or goods that can benefit your organization.
Maybe you need a venue to host your nonprofit’s next in-person event. You could potentially partner with a business or corporation that can offer their venue in exchange for publicity.
Or maybe you need someone to cater that same event. See if you can partner with a local catering company or food company that can feed your guests.
You can even reach out to businesses for prize sponsors. This is great if your upcoming event (whether it’s in-person or virtual!) is planning on hosting an auction of some kind.
These are all excellent sponsorships to seek out to set your nonprofit up for its next event!
Promotional Nonprofit Sponsorships:
This has become widely popular with the rise of social media influencers. And it’s a perfect way to promote an upcoming event for your nonprofit.
Through promotional nonprofit sponsorships, your organization partners with someone who can use their platform to boost your upcoming campaign through their marketing channels.
Media Nonprofit Sponsorships:
Your nonprofit organization can reach out to media platforms for sponsorships to promote any fundraising campaigns or upcoming events you may have. They may also donate funds to help you with your advertising needs!
Nonprofit Sponsorship Management Tools:
Acquiring nonprofit sponsors is similar to getting new donors and getting new grants! A lot of obtaining these sponsors and partners comes from creating wonderful relationships with people.
If you’re curious about building relationships with sponsors, be sure to check out our article on cultivating donor relationships! You’d be amazed at how similar the two are.
One of the best ways you can build relationships and keep track of everything over time is by using a management tool.
Don’t worry! You don’t have to have a separate system. You can use your nonprofit CRM tool! Create a profile for your business contacts. Be sure to note in your system their company and the kind of sponsorship you’re working on.
Then, try following these tips:
Segment Your Contacts
It’s a great idea to create their profile in your nonprofit CRM the moment you first contact them. Then, you can keep track of all communication (more on that in a minute).
So, while you’re in the prospecting phase with a contact, be sure to segment them appropriately. Have a separate list of contacts that are for prospective nonprofit sponsorships.
Once they agree to a sponsorship, then you can change their segmentation to be included in the current affiliates.
This is a great way to stay organized with your nonprofit sponsorships!
Keep Track of All Communications
As we know, using data and analytics is a great way to streamline processes in your nonprofit. And it’s a great way of knowing what’s working and what’s not.
So, be sure to log every last communication you send to your prospective affiliates. Whether it’s an introductory email, a thank you note, or something in between, having everything logged will only benefit you in the future.
The Basic Framework of a Nonprofit Sponsorship Pitch:
Your pitch is the first interaction (at least when it comes to sponsors!) between you and a business.
So you want to make sure that your pitch hits the mark so your potential sponsors know how they can help (and how they’ll benefit).
Know that pitching for potential sponsorships is similar to applying for nonprofit grants. So you want to make sure you include all of the important information in every introductory contact you send out.
Here’s some of what you can include:
- Your nonprofit’s mission statement and values.
- Your origin story, but keep this brief!
- Your current programs and upcoming events.
- Any data about your current donor database. This helps sponsors see if there’s any overlap in ideal audiences.
- What you need from the particular sponsor you’re currently reaching out to. This also includes the type of sponsorship you’re looking for.
- How the sponsor can benefit if they choose to work from you.
- Any sponsorship tiers you may have that they can opt into.
- Your organization’s sponsorship history, so potential sponsors know your track record.
How to Get Nonprofit Sponsorships:
Clearly, creating relationships with businesses near your organization is a great way to receive the funds (of any kind!) your nonprofit needs.
But how do you go about getting nonprofit sponsorships?
The map breaks down the sponsorship solicitation process into 8 concise steps – the bones on which you can build your organization’s own strategy. You’ll find ways to personalize the process, but this map is a solid foundation that moves you from identifying potential candidates to sending a proposal and following up to seal the deal.
When you think maps, you think treasure. With this map, X marks the spot where relationships begin and sponsorship gold is buried.
Thanks for being a part of the NonprofitLibrary family. We’re looking forward to sharing our rich cache of free resources with you.
All the best!
– Your friends at NonprofitLibrary
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